Messi Nets Hat-Trick As Rampant Barca Win Catalan Derby
Spanish La Liga Report: Barcelona v Espanyol 09 September 2017
Result: FC Barcelona 5-0 Espanyol
Date: 09 September 2017
Venue: Camp Nou
Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick to inspire FC Barcelona to a 5-0 win over local rivals Espanyol in the Catalan derby.
After a quiet opening, Luis Saurez nearly broke the deadlock in the 19th minute but the striker's volley was saved by Lopez.
However, the hosts were not to be denied in the 26th minute as Messi collected a pass from before firing into the top corner, 1-0.
The lead was doubled on 35 minutes as Messi grabbed his second goal by turning home Gerard Deulofeu's low cross.
Espanyol nearly pulled a goal back just before the break when Pablo Piatti rattled the upright from the edge of the box.
The Catalan giants continued to dominate in the second stanza while the likes of Messi and Suarez squandered chances in the opening 10 minutes..
The hosts eventually bagged a third goal after 67 minutes as Messi completed his hat-trick with a composed finish, after a clever pass from Jordi Alba.
Enresto Valverde opted for a change a minute later as Ousmane Dembele replaced Deulofeu for his Barcelona debut.
Fellow substitute Paulinho nearly bagged his first goal for the club in the 82nd minute but he fired wide from close range.
Barca managed to rbag a fouth goal in the 87th minute as Gerard Pique found the back of the net with a thumping header.
Luis Suarez eventually got his name on the score-sheet in the 90th minute as the striker collected a cross from Dembele before slotting into the top corner, 5-0
The win sees the Catalan giants maintain their winning start while they've also moved top of the table.